Thompson Engineering was hired to provide design, construction coordination, and construction surveillance services for a $20-million cruise ship terminal along the Mobile River in Mobile, Alabama. The project included a 60,000 square-foot terminal facility capable of handling more than 5,000 passengers a day and a three-level elevated parking deck to accommodate 550 vehicles.
Construction for this fast-track project was an around-the-clock operation. Despite inclement weather and interruptions due to Hurricane Ivan, the terminal was designed and constructed in seven months. Also of note, the terminal was the first one built post 9/11 and required coordination with multiple agencies and new homeland security regulations.
Through the use of specialized foundation techniques, pre-cast concrete building technologies, and phased construction contracts, the terminal was completed in half the time normally allotted for a project of this scope.
The gangway is designed for both vertical and horizontal hydraulic positioning and is expandable to accommodate passenger movements for several ship classes. The construction cost was $18-million, $2-million under budget. Savings were due to the engineering design of a custom passenger gangway that was half the cost of purchasing a typical prefabricated gangway.
After completion, the Alabama Cruise Ship Terminal was selected for the 2006 Engineering Excellence Grand Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies, Alabama.